If all goes as scheduled, I have exactly one more month of pregnancy. One more month until we get to see the source of all of the flipping and kicking inside my tummy. One more month until we get to hold this precious gift.

This evening when I went for my now-weekly doctor’s appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I needed to sit in a big recliner for 20 minutes while I was hooked up to a monitor that listened to both my heartbeat and the baby’s.

It was the most peaceful 20 minutes I have had in about five years.

As I sat there, I realized how long it’s been since I have sat still doing absolutely nothing. My only entertainment was the sound of my baby’s heartbeat. Swish. Swish. Swish. Swish.

Ahhhh.

And guess what? I get to… I mean HAVE to… go through this same procedure every week for the next month. If only they would throw in a massage, my joy would be complete.

Believe it or not, with my other three children, I didn’t have to do this at my weekly appointments. The one time I did, the doctor decided to send me immediately to the hospital for a C-section afterward.

I kept listening to the baby’s heartbeat as it slowed down and then started going faster. When the doctor came in the room, I was convinced he was going to tell me to call my husband and have him pack my bags.

“Your baby sounds perfect!” he said. In fact, everything seems to be going well.

I think I’m one of the few pregnant women who worries that I might not have gained enough weight. But because I seem to carry my babies kind of low and I have a long body, even at 35 weeks, I worry that the baby might not be growing as much as she should. I still measure right on target, and I gained another three pounds. So, I guess the shakes from Culver’s are working.

My biggest baby-related concern right now is the darned swine flu. My doctor actually shut down his local office because he shares space with a pediatrician, whose office he described as a “petri dish” for the flu virus.

Now I have to drive about 40 minutes every week to his main office.

The hospitals also aren’t allowing any children to visit the maternity floors. I’m really hoping this ban will be lifted so my three older children can see the baby as soon as possible after she is born. I recently realized that they are old enough now they could hang out in the waiting room during my scheduled C-section and get a glimpse of the baby soon after her birth.

It’s going to be a real test of my patience if my kids aren’t allowed to see the baby at all during the full three days I will be hospitalized.

If that is the case, I will have to learn to really enjoy my solitude in the recliner.

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